Amphibians and Reptiles of Vanuatu (Melanesia)

The herpetofauna of Vanuatu is unique for its lack or scarcity of several widespread Pacific island gecko species (Gehyra mutilata, Hemidactylus garnotii and Hemiphyllodactylus typus). Other Vanuatu species include  widespread Pacific species (Gehyra oceanica, Emoia caeruleocauda, E. cyanura, E. impar, Lipinia noctua, Laticauda colubrina, L. laticaudata, and Pelamis platura), southern species which are absent north of the archipelago (L. buleli), species with Solomon affinities (Gekko vittatus, Lepidodactylus guppyi, Nactus multicarinatus, Emoia 
atrocostata freycineti, E. nigra, and E. cyanogaster), species with Micronesian affinities (Perochirus guentheri), species with Loyalty affinities (Gehyra vorax, Nactus pelagicus, Caledoniscincus atropunctatus, Candoia bibroni, Laticauda frontalis) (note however that G. vorax was reported from Tonga and that fossil remains attributed to Perochirus sp. were also found on Tonga), and southern Vanuatu with possible Loyalty affinities (Emoia aneityumensis, and E. erronan) or strict or nearly strict Vanuatu endemics (E. nigromarginata, and E. sanfordi), all probably also with Loyalty affinities. 

The Vanuatu herpetofauna is fragile and sensitive to habitat change and plant and animal introductions. It is unique, with particular regard to numerous  endemic species or others with a restricted distribution. That herpetofauna is unique among the whole Pacific and has to be preserved for the coming generations but also as a national heritage for the local Vanuatu Melanesian culture.

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timestamp Mon, 10/31/2022 - 00:46